Mr. Church (2016) Movie Script

Joseph Church could have been
anything he wanted to be.
He chose to cook.
The key, he said, jazz.
Mama, wake up, wake up.
Baby, baby, what is it?
There's a black man
in our kitchen cooking eggs.
Baby, that's okay.
It's Mr. Church,
our new cook.
New cook?
We never had an old cook.
You know what? Mama just
needs a tiny bit more rest.
I'll... Go introduce yourself.
I'll be there soon.
Mr. Church
used to work for Richard Cannon,
who was Mama's lover.
But he wasn't my daddy.
When Mama found out
Richard was married
she ended it,
though she still loved him.
Morning, baby.
When Richard was sick,
the last thing
he said to Mama was,
"I'll care for you
until my dying day and beyond."
Good morning, Mr. Church.
Oh, good morning, ma'am.
I guess Mr.
Church was the "beyond" part.
I see you met Charlie.
Well, not officially.
Oh, well, Charlie,
where's your manners?
Good morning, Charlotte.
My name's Mr. Church.
How are you?
Wow, this looks delicious.
Thank you, Mr. Church.
You are most welcome, ma'am.
Come on, baby. Eat up.
I want Apple Jacks.
What are Apple Jacks?
Well, it's a cereal.
It tastes like apples.
Well, and sugar, mainly.
You've never heard
of Apple Jacks?
Hey, don't be rude.
I can make the child
some Apple Jacks
if that's what she wants...
It's already made.
It comes in a box.
Add milk and you're done.
She doesn't need it.
Well, she got to eat
something, ma'am.
You have made an incredible meal.
Charlie, eat.
What is this?
You never heard of grits?
There are a lot
of secrets in my grits.
This is delicious.
You got to try some, sweetie.
Charlotte Marie Brooks, you
sit your butt down right now.
I'm going to count
to three, okay?
One... two...
Mr. Church,
excuse me.
I want cereal!
You're embarrassing me.
Why is he here?
I don't know. Because
Richard wanted it this way.
And I want Apple Jacks.
What times does he go home?
I guess when he's done.
When is he done?
When we're done.
Well, we're done.
Oh, Charlie, please.
It makes no sense.
It's what Richard wanted.
Who cares what he wanted?
He's dead.
Morning, Gibby.
Morning, dear. Charlie.
Morning, Gibby.
How are you two this morning?
We're fine.
We have a cook.
That's nice, dear.
Here, take this.
You drink coffee all day.
I eat Apple Jacks.
We don't need a cook. Well,
Richard seems to think we did.
If Richard really cared
about you,
he would have married you.
Mr. Church
won't be staying.
I'm sure he's already realized
what a mistake all this is.
Come on, Charlie.
We gotta move.
Love you.
It was
always hard to stay mad at Mama-
She was too nice,
and far too beautiful.
I was always looking,
trying to find someone
more beautiful than my mama.
But I never could.
And out of everyone
in the whole wide world,
she loved me most.
Hey, Mr. Church,
could I have a word with you?
Oh, man. I'm going to
need to go to the market.
Yeah, well, it's about all that.
Yeah, I brought some groceries
with me today, ma'am,
but no offense, all you got in
here is some condiments and stuff.
There's nothing
to spread them on.
I suppose I haven't been
to the store in a while.
Could we just hold off
on that for a second?
I wanted to wait
till Charlie was at school
before speaking with you...
Ma'am, you're shivering.
Yeah, I forgot my jacket.
It's kind of chilly out.
Maybe you want to put on
a sweater or something.
Yeah, I will. I just... 'Cause you
don't want to get sick, ma'am.
He told you.
Yes, ma'am.
What'd he say?
That you have a cancer
in your breast
and that you're dying, ma'am.
Did he tell you how long I have?
Six months, ma'am.
Mr. Church, we're talking
about my breast and dying.
You can drop
the "ma'am" stuff, okay?
Because it's Marie.
You really think
you should be smoking
in your condition, ma'am?
How'd you do
on your English test?
Hmm, I think I failed.
Good morning, Miss Samuels.
Good morning, Miss Brooks.
How are you this morning?
Oh, well, we have a cook.
He's black, he makes grits
with secrets,
and he's hanging out
in our kitchen.
So, what kind of a deal
did Richard make with you?
I was just asked to cook
for you and your child
till you passed on, ma'am.
And certainly
you're getting something
out of this.
Well, Mr. Cannon guaranteed
me a lifetime salary
if I kept my word.
Not bad.
Total financial security
in exchange
for six months of meals.
So, you got yourself a pretty
good deal, Mr. Church.
Yes, ma'am.
Come on.
Hey, Charlie.
Owen Baxter was by far
the most gorgeous
10-year-old boy
that ever breathed on this
or any other planet.
I, on the other hand,
was about the most awkward
10-year-old girl
on this or any other planet.
Come on, Owen.
What is it?
Who knows?
Look at you,
already bringing
fancy sandwiches to lunch,
Miss I Have a Cook Brooks.
Can I come see him?
I told you, he's leaving.
Probably gone already.
Oh, if you don't want him, I do.
Our private
school took a few charity oases a year.
The year I turned five,
it was me
and Poppy Samuels,
my one and only friend.
She lived with her sister
because both of her folks
were serving time in prison
for a robbery gone wrong.
And even with that,
she was more popular than me.
Tell you something, Charlie,
it's not every day
you get a cook.
It might be nice having a man
around to help your mama out.
We've always done fine.
We don't need a man, and we
sure as hell don't need a cook.
My sister says
every woman needs a man.
Sometimes more than one.
Where'd you get all that?
Stole it
from my sister's dresser.
Stealing's the one thing
us Samuels are good at.
Excuse me, ma'am.
I'm about to head out
to the market.
Okay. Um...
We shop at Gordon's.
Is that all right?
Oh, yeah, that's fine.
Yeah, yeah.
You know, Mr. Church,
if we're going to do this,
let me at least give you
some money.
I've only got $12, but...
Oh, ma'am,
don't worry about that.
Mr.Cannon opened up an
account for me to draw off
for marketing and such.
"And such?"
Well, your medical bills
and rent and medicine.
That's all taken care of,
courtesy of Mr. Cannon
for the next six months.
And what, in his estimation,
did six months of life come to?
Beg your pardon, ma'am?
Never mind.
You know what?
At least take
some coupons, you know?
I'm not completely helpless.
It couldn't hurt.
Yeah, it couldn't hurt at all.
All right. Okay.
Oh, Mr. Church, um...
Charlie doesn't know
that I'm sick,
and I'd like to keep it
that way.
Oh. As you wish, ma'am.
I'll be back shortly, all right?
All right, $43.32, sir.
Hey, wait a minute, you know,
I forgot all about these.
Great. Let's see.
$37.83, sir.
So I saved about $6 there?
Yes, sir.
That's not bad.
No, sir.
Hey, Charlie.
Hi, Larson.
Eddie Larson.
Forced to ride public transportation
for the rest of his life.
Just one week after getting
his driver's license,
he go! drunk and crashed
his Chevy Camaro
into the living room
of Mr. and Mrs. Howard,
killing their 4-year-old son.
Spent three years
in juvenile penitentiary,
and no doubt the rest of his life
in the worst hell of all,
the one between the eyes.
How's... how's school,
We have a cook.
What, at the school?
At my house.
Oh, yeah.
That's far out.
Mama's going to tell him
to leave.
Who wouldn't want a cook?
Hi, Mama.
So, how was work today?
I saw Miss Carol's baby.
Hey, gorgeous.
Can't you see I'm with my child?
I saw Miss Carol's baby,
and I finally got him
to latch on for feeding.
You know, holding those babies,
it always makes me think
of the first time I held you.
Even if I was an accident.
Why on Earth would you say that?
Your daddy was the accident.
You, you're my miracle.
How much do I love you?
So much.
So much.
So, how did the cook
take the news he was fired?
Oh, ma'am, I hope
you don't mind.
I bring books with me
every place I go,
and I noticed that your shelf
was kind of empty.
He's still here, Mama.
Why is he still here? Charlie,
we'll discuss this later.
That's great.
Cookbooks, right?
Oh, no, no, ma'am.
Not cookbooks.
I never read books
about cooking.
These are mostly novels
and plays and, you know,
about people like Capote
and Shakespeare.
Wow. And Greeks and
Agatha Christie.
And here's one I think
the girl might like.
Autobiography of Shirley Temple.
Good Ship Lollipop.
I hate reading.
Oh, that is a shame,
because there's nothing like
a really good story.
Keep your stupid books.
Hey, that's enough.
No, that's okay, ma'am.
But, listen, if you do ever want
to read one of these books,
you're going to have
to check it out.
What, like a library?
Exactly like a library.
Made a card up for you
and everything.
And ma'am, you feel free. Whenever
you want, you can read these books.
And if you like,
I'll bring more.
A house could always
use books, right?
I'm sorry, Mr. Church.
She'll get used to it.
She's just a child.
She doesn't understand.
Oh, sure, ma'am.
Look, I'll have dinner ready
for you and the child
about 6:00 tonight,
then after that
I'll take care of the dishes.
Then I'll take my leave
for the evening.
6:00 it is.
Thank you, Mr. Church.
You're most welcome.
I'm not hungry.
This is the way
it's going to be.
So, I suggest you find a way
to stop complaining
and start enjoying the food.
Mr. Church asked me
to give you this.
Complaining wasn't easy to stop.
Enjoying the food was a breeze.
But I wasn't about to let
Mr. Church or Mama know it.
Charlie, come on, eat it.
As far as they were
concerned, every bite was torture for me.
Secretly, I couldn't wait to taste
what was coming next.
Ana' what came next was always
something magnificent.
It was like e party every night.
Every morning.
It was like a party
every afternoon.
I finally let Poppy
over to meet Mr. Church.
Once I did,
I couldn't get rid of her.
Mr. Church,
this is the best lemonade
I've ever tasted.
The secret to that,
my dear, is the licorice.
You and your secrets,
Mr. Church.
My sister loved
the banana bread you made.
Oh, thank you, Poppy-
"My sister loved the
banana bread you made."
She did.
And in the
morning, Mr. Church was in the kitchen
long before I was awake.
The smells of cooking
were like my alarm clock.
Mr. Church could make or bake
anything you wanted,
and even things
you didn't know you wanted
until after you tasted them.
I never once sew Mr. Church
use e measuring tool
or any fancy utensil.
Just his hands, fork, and knife.
Come on, baby.
We'll be late for the bus.
Oh, I've got a winner.
This is the toothpaste
that Charlie likes.
So, I finished this one.
I still don't see why
they couldn't be together.
Next time, I want a story
that's not going to make me
CW my eyes out.
Some writers ain't happy
till they made the reader cry.
And some readers
ain't happy till they do.
I'd watch Mr. Church leave,
knowing that
in just a few short hours,
he'd return with bags and bags
of goodies to explore.
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Oh, baby! I got her. I
got you, I got you.
Are you okay? I got you.
She's okay.
Oh, my God. Thank you. Let
me get this stuff here.
Thank you, Mr. Church.
It's okay.
Yeah, there's glass everywhere.
Watch where you're stepping.
Let me...
Watch out.
No, I got it.
I got this, ma'am.
Let me...
I'll take care of this.
Okay, thank you.
What child would like
to get cut?
Mr. Church.
I'd like to check out
a book, if that's okay.
How about if I make
some suggestions.
Now, this is kind of long,
but it's worth the journey.
I read it a couple of times myself,
so you don't got
to be gentle with it.
Books was meant to be broken in.
Good night, my dear.
So, you like your eyes
You think
they're kind of cute
You like your smile
You think
that it's a beaut
So you like you
You think you're cute
So, you think
you're cute
Well, baby
So do I
And through if all,
I never knew about the promise
Mr. Church made to Richard.
I never knew Mama was dying.
I never knew anything
until much, much later.
The only thing I knew
at ten years old
was that one morning I woke up
and we had a cook.
And one other thing.
He was to be gone in six months.
But six months...
turned into six years.
Turns out Mama was a miracle.
She boxed that mean, old cancer
every day, giving it lefts,
rights, uppercuts.
And all the while,
I never knew she was is the ring.
Hey, Charlie.
Owen, is it true
that Stevie hasn't
asked me to the prom
because his folks don't approve?
Don't know anything about it.
I heard he's taking Nora Williams
because she's a notorious virgin.
Ugh, I told my sister
never to honk.
She just can't help
embarrassing me.
I can't wait till I'm 18.
I can get away
from this stinking place.
Walk you to the bus?
Are you really
going to read all these?
I already did.
Just returning them.
How's your mom doing?
She's fine.
Coming to the game tonight?
I can't really go out at night.
Not ever?
Not even for, say, prom?
Would you go with me, Charlie?
I... I got to go.
I... I... I got to go.
I'll take that as a maybe.
Every time I walked in that room,
I held my breath
so I could listen for hers.
Hoping it would still be there.
Sometimes it was so soft
I had to climb onto the bed
and put my ear up to her mouth
just to make sure.
Other times,
it was so heavy with struggle
that I had to back as far away
as I could just to stand it.
And other times,
it was all Mama.
There she is.
I have a plate of cheese and
grapes for you in the ice box.
How's she doing?
She had a good day.
And you, my dear,
have come at the perfect time.
You need to wake her
so she can eat.
I want you to take this to her.
I have homework.
Oh, come on, Charlotte.
She had a good day.
She's still going to die,
Mr. Church.
Hey, you're awake.
I thought I heard Charlie.
Did she come right up
from school?
Yeah, she's doing her homework.
She didn't want to disturb you.
You're a terrible liar,
Mr. Church.
You want some company?
"She always accompanied him
"to the first step
of the stairs.
"When his horse had not yet
been brought around,
"she'd stayed there.
"They had said good-bye.
"There was no more talking.
"The open air wrapped around her
"playing with the soft down
"on the back of her neck,
"or blew to and fro on her hips,
"the aprons strings
that fluttered like streamers.
Love, she thought,
must come suddenly..."
My mama had been the sun to me.
I basked in her warmth.
I remember wanting to wake up
in the morning just to see her.
But now that sun was on fire,
seemed to burn
everything in sight.
If I got too close,
my skin stung.
But Mr. Church,
he could walk
right through her blaze
without so much as a singe.
He was like the moon,
cool, calm, and always there.
So, I learned to turn away
from the sun
and face the moon.
This is excellent work.
The Bronte sisters
would have been proud.
It was visiting day
at the prison.
I don't know why
they force Poppy to go.
She just ends up smoking
with a bunch
of locked-up creeps
staring at her.
Hey, they're her parents,
Of course.
Larson told me to let you know
that his group of drunks
loved the pie you donated.
Have you seen that place?
The thing's pretty dreary.
Well, I guess being a drunk
is dreary, huh?
Hey, your mom's going to need
a bath tonight.
Mr. Church
stopped smoking in the house
once Mama passed
the six-month mark.
Guess he realized
she wasn't going anywhere,
and he didn't want
to hurry her along.
We each had our duties.
Mr. Church fed Mama,
gave her medicine,
took her blood pressure,
temperature, held pots
under her face when she threw up.
Carried her to and from the bathroom
when she needed to go.
And with all that,
he still called her ma'am.
And she still called him
Mr. Church.
My one and only job
was to bathe Mama.
And I hated it.
How was...
How was school today?
School is school.
Did you... Did you hear
from any more colleges?
I got accepted
to Boston University.
Charlie, that's what you wanted.
I'm so proud of you.
I can't afford
a university, Mama.
I'll be going local
and you know it.
You applied for a scholarship.
Mr. Church said
that Owen Baxter
asked you to the prom.
News like that,
I'd like to have heard it
from you.
It's no big deal.
No big deal?
Just a lame prom.
No, baby, it's colorful
and exciting.
You get to see all your friends
dressed up,
dancing with boys
they never even knew liked them.
Go back.
It's one of the biggest nights
of a girl's life.
Frankie Liner.
He was my...
My... my prom date.
Poor Frankie, his hands
were sweating all night long.
But, boy, could he dance.
You'll need a dress
and some new shoes.
Not if I don't go.
Charlie, don't skip your prom.
Why do you care? You won't
be around to see it anyway.
Don't say things like that.
Because I...
have hung on
for five years longer
than any of those
damn doctors said I would.
What's a couple more weeks
till your prom?
Charlie, listen to me, okay?
I'm going to make you a promise,
and you know
I never break my promises.
If you say yes to Owen
and get yourself a dress
and you go to that lame prom,
I'll be here to see it.
How'd we get such
beautiful hair, huh?
We're done.
We're done.
Mr. Church. Mr. Church.
No, Charlie, wait!
Goddamn it!
I am angry too.
You give birth to this tiny,
innocent, little thing,
and you think, "My God,
oh, my God,
help me protect her."
And that is what you spend
every waking moment doing.
And then one day you wake up
and you've got cancer.
And you realize, "My God...
"oh, my God...
"what she will need
the most protection from
is your own life
slipping away from her."
But you love her so much.
And you just want to smother her
with love and hugs and words
with every moment
you've got left.
And a hug there was.
She'll remember the love,
won't she, Mr. Church,
not the pain?
Yes, ma'am.
She will.
It's en awful
feeling to love someone so much
that you absolutely hate them
for leaving you.
Even before they've gone.
Hey, Dr. Green stopped by with
some medicine for your mother
Hmm. to help her sleep
better tonight.
You going home?
Yup, I am gone for the day.
Check out another book
before you go?
Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
You read this?
Aren't you the one who said it's
good to read a book more than once?
All right, well then, Tess
of the d'Urbervilles it is.
Is there something else?
Why don't you ever
tell me where you live?
Where do you go
when you aren't with us?
Because what I do
with my own personal time
is my business, Charlotte.
You know everything about me,
so just tell me something.
It's late, Charlie.
Hey, I said it's late.
I like ice cream.
What kind?
Butter pecan.
Favorite color?
The Maltese Falcon.
Do you have a girlfriend?
Okay, now that's enough.
All right, just tell me
what your house looks like.
Or tell me
who your best friend is.
Come on, just tell me...
Hey, I said enough!
Don't you know when to back off?
You've never raised
your voice to me.
I'm sorry about that.
I just...
I just want to know more
about you.
I know you want.
I know.
My dear, you have me
from morning until night.
And what I do
when I leave here is my time.
For me.
Don't take that away.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
I've actually read it
three times.
Good night.
That one.
I... I think the neckline
could be a little lower.
Well, she's going to a prom,
not the discotheque.
Don't be such a square,
Mr. Church. Lower.
The prom suddenly became
the most important event
of our lives.
And for the first time,
I believed that Mama
was going to live forever,
that she truly was a miracle.
And those doctors
had been wrong all along.
Hey, you know,
this has an elegance to it
that this just doesn't have.
This kind of says,
"Let's dance."
Let's dance.
That's the point.
All right, it's your prom.
The dancy look.
I like the dancy look. All right,
we're going with the dancy look.
Oh, my God.
You are so beautiful.
Tell her.
Tell her, Mr. Church.
Oh, a true vision, my dear.
The dress is perfect.
Come and stand next to your
mother so I can get a picture.
Well, put it on a timer.
We need a picture of
the three of us. Yeah!
Oh, no, no, no.
Come on now.
Yeah, we do.
Please? We need one
of the whole family.
Mr. Church...
Come on, sit.
Okay, I want to make a toast.
To the most beautiful girl
in the world.
It pops in my mouth.
Come on in.
There's a reason
for the sunshine sky
And there's a reason
why I'm feeling so high
Must be the season
When that love light shines
More punch?
Still have some.
So, let that feeling
Grab you deep inside
And send you reeling
Here's the thing.
I can't dance.
Not at all.
That's okay.
We don't have to dance.
Just let your love flow
Like a mountain stream
Hell, it can't be harder
than basketball.
Come on.
The smallest of dreams
And let your love show
And you'll know
what I mean
It's the season
Let your love fly
Like a bird on a wing
And let your love bind you
to all living things
And let your love shine
And you'll know
what I mean
That's the reason
There's a reason
for the warm, sweet nights
And there's a reason...
You're still here.
Oh, ma'am, you shouldn't be up.
I couldn't sleep.
I... I heard the music.
I'm sorry. I should
have turned that down.
No, I... I like it. I...
I was imagining Charlie
dancing in her dress.
Do you dance,
Mr. Church?
There are those who play music
and there are those
who dance to it.
And the rare person
who does both.
Why, I do believe that is the
first time I have heard you
compliment yourself.
Dance with me.
Come on. Now.
I dare say he speaks the truth.
Oh, oh, oh.
Okay, okay, I got you.
I got you.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
It's okay.
It's okay.
Thank you.
L got you.
Feel like I'm falling in love
Since I met you
I got to know
what you're doing
Doing to me
with your love
With your love
What you doing,
doing to me with your love
With your love
What you doing,
doing to me with your love
With your love
What you doing, baby
It feels so good,
whatever it is
Knew from the start
It had to be you
Let me get that.
I'll get the gate.
I had a really
great time tonight.
Me too.
Good night, Charlie.
So, tell me.
Was it lame?
It was...
You should be in bed.
I wanted to wait up for you,
just like every other mother
who waited up
for their daughter tonight.
Did you dance?
All night.
Did he kiss you?
Well, kisses come
in all sorts of ways, baby.
act strange around death-
There are those
who talk about everything
but the person who died.
And I told Mr. Rinaldo that two
pounds of meat was plenty,
but he insisted
on giving me three.
And I said,
"That's ridiculous..."
There are those
who only talk about the person who died.
Your mother was always
very nice to me.
I thought she was pretty too.
I always wondered why she didn't
have a boyfriend or something.
There are
those who try to cheer you up.
Your mother's at peace, Charlie.
Out of pain.
You don't want her in pain.
And those
who can't help but make you cry.
You know, I've always wished
I'd had a mom
like yours, Charlie.
Why can't it be
my mom who's dead,
not yours?
And then there
ere those who say nothing at all.
Because they don't have to.
But when everyone was gone,
the people and the noise
and the chatter
and the hospital bed...
it was just Mr. Church and me.
And I liked it.
It was the first and only time
I ever saw Mr. Church cry.
Even his weeping was graceful.
What's going to happen now?
What will you do?
Your job is done.
I haven't even thought about it.
Guess I'll start
thinking about it now.
I have something for you.
Actually, it's from your mother.
I kept a record
of all the money I saved
marketing with those coupons
your mother gave me.
I always did say they add up.
I guess you can call
Boston University
and tell them that Charlotte
Brooks will be attending.
All right.
Okay, I guess you're going to
need a way to get there.
always did hate riding the bus.
Mr. Church didn't have a license.
So, I knew he couldn't teach me
how to drive.
I went to the one person
who I knew could.
Just put the key
in the ignition, and...
Put your foot
on the clutch there.
And when you give it gas,
you're going to slowly release.
Foot off the brake.
And on the accelerator.
Nice and easy.
We're going. We're going.
There you go. Okay.
Whoa, oh, oh!
You have to take your foot
off the brake as well.
Release the clutch slowly.
Are you okay?
Put your foot on the clutch.
I... Whoa, whoa, I'm sorry.
Nice and slow.
Oh! You okay? You okay?
You Okay?
Foot on the clutch.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
I swear I'll get it.
It's okay.
Good. Nice.
That's a good speed.
Picking up speed.
This is great.
I did it.
Take a ride in the sky
On our ship, fantasize
All your dreams
will come true
Miles away
Our voices will ring
Until the twelfth of never
You're going to be
a famous writer.
I'm going to be a famous
fashion designer.
And all the duds in this town,
they're going to say,
"Oh, damn, aren't those the two
charity case girls
from St. Frances?"
Well... Well, I'll be damned.
You're crazy!
I'm not crazy.
What I am is free.
New York, I am
on my way. Clear this.
I'm completely lost.
New York, New York, New York.
Get us the hell out of here.
Bunch of lowlife drunks.
More than ever,
I wanted to know everything
about Mr. Church.
Good night, Charlotte.
Good night, Mr. Church.
I wanted to ask him
about Jelly's Place.
Wanted him to know
he could tell me.
I knew the rumors about Jelly's.
Most of all, I wanted to know
Mr. Church was happy.
With Mama gone
and me leaving for college,
I worried about him.
I thought if I could see his house,
meet someone who loved him
as much as Mama and me,
somehow I would know
he was okay.
What are you doing
walking around alone at night?
You want to jump in?
Listen, have I done
something wrong?
You've hardly spoken
to me lately.
Hell, you won't even look at me.
Why'd you take me to prom?
What are you talking about?
You could have asked
any girl in school.
Popular girls, girls with money.
Why me?
That's a dumb question. I don't
know, because I like you.
Because you're smart.
Or was it because
my mama was dying?
If that's the reason, it's okay.
I... I get it.
Poor Charlie Brooks.
Poor fatherless,
soon to be motherless,
pathetic Charlie Brooks.
I get it.
Charity case.
But let's just be honest
about it.
I mean,
you never even kissed me.
So, if the reason you took me
was out of pity...
I don't pity you.
I'm leaving tomorrow
for school, Charlie.
My folks are driving me
up early.
That's why I came
looking for you.
To say good-bye-
You study hard, Owen.
You do something important
with your life, okay?
Never been to a restaurant
with you before, Mr. Church.
Well, I figured since
it's your last night here,
we should eat out.
Sorry for the wait, folks.
What can I get you?
Oh, um...
Hey, do you have Apple Jacks?
Comes in a box.
Tastes mostly like sugar
and apples, mainly.
Yes, sir.
I'll have that.
Yeah, I'll have the same.
And I suppose this is the
last of Richard's money
you'll ever spend on me.
Poor fool.
He thought he'd only have to
shell out enough for six months.
Mama sure showed him.
Mr. Church?
Two Apple Jacks.
Right on time.
You're welcome. Enjoy.
Oh, that looks wonderful.
Apples and sugar.
No secret there.
Itook clothes and books.
Nothing else.
I told Mr. Church to take
whatever he wanted of Mama's,
and whatever was left
to give to charity.
I had driven 3,000 miles
to find out something amazing.
Here, no one knew me
as poor Charlie Brooks.
College was just how
I imagined it.
Full of energy and color.
Here, I could be anyone
I wanted to be.
And if we suppose that
Shakespeare instructed Thorpe to name
W.H. in the dedication,
I studied hard,
and when I felt too tired to keep going,
I thought of all those damn coupons
Mom would cut to get me here,
and it pushed me through.
All right, that's it.
No more studying.
No! No,
we're going out.
Mr. Church wrote me every week.
And always sent me books.
Seasons changed.
Roommates came and went.
Class schedules changed,
and I got closer every day
towards graduating.
They say, for some, college
is the time of your life
where you find yourself.
And for others...
Hey, how you doing?
Hey, I'm Charlie.
Nice to meet you.
It can also be a time
where you slowly get lost.
And sometimes...
you just have to go home.
Wherever that may be.
It's Charlie.
Seems the
legacy of the Brooks family
was having babies
out of wedlock.
Sorry I stopped
writing you, Mr. Church.
You know, I stopped
writing Poppy too.
Things... Things just got
a little crazy for me.
I can see that.
But I read all your letters,
sometimes even twice a day.
Anyway, I needed
a break and I thought,
"Go surprise Mr. Church."
Yeah, well,
you really surprised me.
Can I stay for a few days?
I mean, I brought my books.
I can study here and everything.
I just need a place to rest.
Okay. I got one rule.
You respect my privacy.
'Cause you're
in my house now, right?
Yeah, okay.
I will.
It was like we were never apart.
All right, then.
He never asked a single question
about my being pregnant.
Still smoking outside,
Mr. Church?
Yeah, as of today.
I guess Mr.
Church respected my privacy
as much as he asked me
to respect his.
All I knew being back
with Mr. Church
was that I was home.
I'm going to lock my heart
and throw away the key
I'm wise to all those tricks
You played on me
All those years wondering
where Mr. Church lived,
and I was now standing
in the center of it.
Try this.
That's right.
I'm gonna lock my heart
I'll never fall in love
I'm gonna lock my heart
And throw away the key
Hey, I brought an extra blanket.
It gets cold in here
at night sometimes.
And the sun shines
in that window really bright.
You might want
to close that curtain.
Is this you?
I'm sorry.
I wasn't snooping.
I just found it in the drawer.
Yeah, that's me and my father.
You look like him.
I'm going to leave the light on
for you out here
in case you want to get
some milk or something at night.
Good night, my dear.
Good night, Mr. Church.
You can't change me, old man!
You're not changing shit!
Oh, I'm a sinner?
Yeah, that's right!
I'm a sinner!
Who's a faggot?
You the goddamn faggot.
Talking the shit.
Kick your ass, old man.
Shit, I ain't no kid no more.
You don't tell me
a goddamn thing!
I took the
book of matches from Jelly's,
because I knew
he'd be embarrassed
if he saw that I'd found it.
And come morning, there was Mr.
Church making breakfast,
smelling like soap and seasonings,
listening to his music.
Hey, you're awake.
The baby's got to eat.
How was your night,
Mr. Church?
It was pleasant enough.
And that's all he would ever say.
Pleasant enough.
Those are the only keys
I never quite got the hang of.
About time I let somebody else
try to play them.
Your thesis awaits, my dear.
Start with the first word
and the rest will follow.
Hey, what are you doing?
Oh, I'm... I was just...
Okay, now you got to go.
Mr. Church...
Let's go, right now!
I'm... I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
I give you one goddamn rule,
and you break it, right?
I'm sorry!
You get out of my shit
right now.
Pack your shit and go!
You're hurting me!
Just get out!
Where am I supposed to go?
It's the middle of the night.
That's not my goddamn problem.
I'm not a child anymore,
Mr. Church!
Or are you too drunk
to see that?
What is it with all of you?
The secrets and lies
and more secrets?
Don't tell Charlie I'm dying.
Don't tell Charlie
a goddamn thing.
I just wanted to know you,
Mr. Church.
Look, I was your cook.
That's all you need to know.
Ihad nowhere to go.
And for the first time,
I realized I had no one.
Hey, Charlie.
Look at you, you're all...
pregnant and married.
Oh, no.
Just... Just pregnant.
Well, you living out here again?
No, still in college.
Just, you know, came to see...
Came to visit.
Heading back tonight.
You still got that car, or...
Oh, it's good.
It's right over there.
Do you need a ride somewhere?
Oh, no, no, no.
No, I...
I'd better get a...
Hey, it was good...
Good seeing you, though.
Yeah, you too, Larson.
On, shit!
I swear to God, dude,
I didn't even see her.
Charlotte, come here.
Here, get the door.
Breathe, Charlie, breathe.
Iheard the doctors and nurses
whispering it' was a miracle
the baby didn't die.
I wanted to tell them,
"Don't you know?
Miracles run in the Brooks family."
You need to be very careful.
Lots of rest, Charlie.
Do you have a place to stay?
She lives with me.
You are?
I'm Mr. Church.
Are you responsible for Charlie?
The baby gave Mr. Church a sense
of purpose and excitement.
Oh! There she goes again.
"She," Mr. Church?
Well, it's a guess. She feels
like... I'm feeling she.
Aren't you going to ask me
how it happened?
I know how girls
get pregnant, Charlotte.
If he wasn't gardening,
he was painting.
If he wasn't painting,
he was cooking.
If he wasn't cooking,
he was playing the piano.
And if he wasn't playing
the piano,
he was reading to me.
Too cute.
Mm... too dangerous.
Too simple.
How about Carrie?
Wednesday and Saturday night,
Mr. Church went out.
Good night, Charlotte.
He never
said where he was going.
And I never asked.
But I knew.
You have Irene.
Or Iris.
Mr. Church?
Irma sound like an old lady.
Mr. Church?
Mr. Church?
Isabel. What do you think
of Isabel?
Mr. Church... oh, my God.
Oh, my God, we got to go.
Are you sure?
Yeah... Oh!
Okay, okay, okay, Okay-
I'll call right now.
Mr. Church was right.
I was having a baby girl.
She's going to need
a name, Charlotte.
Isabel Marie Brooks.
Hey, Isabel.
I'm Mr. Church.
Everything was about Izzy.
We're going to go right...
Getting that degree seemed
to slip farther and farther away.
And after a while,
Mr. Church stopped
asking me about it.
I was a mother.
And Mr. Church...
My Izzy...
he was everything else.
It's okay.
It's okay.
Mr. Church,
dance with me.
Okay, I will in a second.
Just hold still.
I'm almost finished.
Oh, come on.
Come on now...
Hey, come on.
We're going to be late.
Mama, dance with me.
No, not now.
We got to go, baby.
Come on, come on.
Mama, dance with me.
Let's go, let's go.
Oh! Okay.
One dance, I guess.
Mr. Church...
Come on, Mr. Church.
One dance.
It's crazy, right?
It's wonderful.
Thank you so much
for coming out.
Larson fell in love with a gal he
met at one of his AA meetings.
You know, she wouldn't be here
if it weren't for you.
No, she's beautiful.
I like that dress.
Did you make that?
You know, there's something
I never told you about that day.
I'd scraped up enough cash
to buy a bottle of Jack
and some pills, and...
I was just going to go home
and check out for good.
You know?
And then you fell.
You know, you always say
that I saved Izzy's life,
but the truth is
that both of you saved mine.
Don't you think my mom's pretty?
I think she's beautiful.
Well, I guess I'd better go
dance with my wife.
The loneliest mile
We smiled without any style
We kiss altogether wrong
Hey, there you go.
Oh, thank you.
Do you ever want to get married, Mr.
I'm sorry.
That's none of my business.
I was married before.
Yes, I was married before.
A long time ago.
I was very young.
I got married because my father
wanted me to get married,
but it didn't last very long.
I wasn't very good at it.
She was a very
lovely lady, though.
I guess I just wasn't
what she was looking for.
Any man and woman
can get married, Charlotte.
Mr. Church,
do you want to dance?
You mention the time
we were together
So long ago
Well, I don't remember
All I know is it makes me
feel good now
It's like I told you
Last time I danced like this
was prom night.
Me too.
Be with you in a second, sir.
Hi, Mama.
Hi, baby.
What are you two doing here?
Found something for you.
You found her.
I found her.
Mama, look.
Thank you.
Oh, my God!
You look so glamorous.
So gorgeous.
This is Izzy.
Mr. Church.
You're the spitting image
of your grandma.
You knew my grandmother?
She was only the most
beautiful woman
I've seen in my whole life.
That's what Mom always says.
Aren't you pretty?
Is that a real diamond?
Oh, honey, you ain't seen
nothing yet.
Come on, get in. Let's get
out of this neighborhood.
Bye, Mr. Church.
Have fun, my dear.
Bye, Mr. Church!
Didn't I tell you I'd
get out of this stinking town?
New York City's so exciting.
This one was Fifth Avenue.
Super-smart Charlie,
it's a place for someone
like you who reads.
Well, you certainly
married well.
I married well both times.
Here, let me show you
the good stuff.
Look at this.
Look at the beading.
I... I heard your parents
were out.
Living up north somewhere?
I wouldn't know.
Oh, I...
I just figured
you stayed in touch
with your sister.
My family's gone, Charlie.
Let's not talk of them again.
Look at this one.
It's a birthday gift.
Feel it.
Isn't that fabric wonderful?
Aunt Poppy plans
to spoil you rotten.
These stores are expensive.
Let me. I'll never have
a child of my own.
You don't know that.
No, I do.
I could have at one time.
I've got all the scars
to prove it.
You should see where
I shop in Manhattan.
Are you happy?
I have everything I want.
So, you know, no boyfriend,
no romance in your life?
Single moms
aren't exactly popular.
I've known that my whole life.
Come to New York with me.
I could fix you up with a
bunch of fine men. What? No.
Yeah. You would love it.
Izzy would love it.
I can get her into
any private school you want.
That's not going to happen.
I know a few bachelors
who would...
I mean, they're no Owen
Baxter, but they have money.
I don't need money.
Baby, don't go too far.
I have a job.
I make a paycheck.
Waiting tables.
I'm not ashamed.
No, come on, Charlie.
Don't be so stubborn.
You don't have anything here.
You can't go living
with your cook forever.
MY Cook?
Oh, you know what I mean.
What happened to you, Poppy?
You used to be a lot of things,
but you were never a snob.
Charlie... You want to know
something about my cook?
Richard set aside enough money
for Mama to live six months.
Six months.
And do you know who paid all
of our bills, food, and rent
all those years after that?
Mr. Church
didn't work for us.
He saved us.
Now, I may not have
some fancy life,
but I work hard
and I'm raising my baby.
She's my diamond,
I'm sorry if it doesn't
sparkle enough for you.
Come on, baby.
We're going to go home.
And let's put the
rocking chair up there.
Well, she
shouldn't have bought it
I'll return it tomorrow.
I don't think you
should punish the child
because you and Poppy fought.
And you still ain't opened
the gift she left for you.
whatever you two argued about,
forgive her.
You should go into the attic.
This little girl
should go inside...
This is your room
and that's your room.
I see you don't approve, huh?
Well, I'm living my own life!
You go ahead and kick me
out of the house, old man.
Go ahead.
I don't give a shit.
Your rules? Fine!
Oh... just said that...
I don't know, shit.
Mr. Church.
Hey, get your goddamn hands
off me.
I'm not drunk.
I'm not drunk.
You can't disown nobody,
old man.
I disown you.
Shh, Shh, Shh.
We ain't in church no more.
The wise son seeketh
the father's instruction,
but the scorner
heareth not rebuke.
I don't give a shit.
How was your night,
Mr. Church?
It was pleasant enough.
Hey, put some spice in here.
And watch out.
The pan is hot.
Now watch out for that pan.
Very good.
It was the first
time the matches were left on the table.
Now Mr. Church realized
that I knew about Jelly's.
Probably that I'd always known.
The matchbook stayed
on the table all that day
and into the next.
But it would be the last.
Mr. Church never came home
drunk again.
You still got that cough,
Mr. Church.
It's only a cough, my dear.
Okay, well, that's it.
No more fighting me.
We're getting you looked at.
I don't need a doctor.
It's the flu.
Mr. Church.
Izzy, give me your book, please.
Thank you.
All right.
Hello, Mr. Church.
Maybe I will stay.
Oh, my God.
Owen, this is my daughter, Izzy.
Can you fix
Mr. Church's cough?
I will certainly give it my all.
You know, maybe I shouldn't go.
You're still sick.
I'm fine.
And I know where to find
a doctor if I need one.
You're so beautiful, Mama.
Mr. Church, tell her.
True vision, my dear.
So, Owen Baxter became a doctor.
You're the one who told me
to do something good with my life.
I thought by now
you'd be a very serious novelist
living in Boston.
I guess life
had other plans for me.
Tell me about her father.
Did you love him?
It was just a foolish night.
Guess you could say I was
a little lost after Mama died.
He didn't want to have
anything to do with the baby.
But he gave me
the greatest gift.
I tried finding you
for a few years.
You found me now.
Morning, Mr. Church.
Mr. Church?
Mr. Church?
Hey, I'm just resting.
Just resting.
Mama, where's Mr. Church?
Shh, he's sleeping.
He never sleeps.
Of course he does, baby.
Everybody sleeps.
I'll make breakfast.
Yes, me.
I told work I
wouldn't be coming in anytime soon.
Mr. Church
was on complete bed rest,
and if was my turn
to fake care of him.
Somehow, my hands
were doing the work.
All those years
watching Mr. Church
seemed to have soaked
into my skin, my bones.
And I knew exactly
what needed to be done.
I chopped, diced, and minced.
Mixed, mashed, and beat.
Stirred, sprinkled,
dashed, and pinched.
Ready to try?
It's very hot.
Be careful.
And while bread baked, I sewed.
And while pies cooled,
I sat at the piano.
And I realized every talent
Mr. Church had,
he taught himself
while passing the time
caring for someone else.
- Hey.
- Can I climb up?
Yes, of course.
How's my favorite
little girl doing?
Tell me a story.
Tell you a story.
Once upon a time...
They always start that way.
Well, that's how you know
it's a story, my dear.
Once upon a time,
there was a little... boy.
What was his name?
What would you like
his name to be?
Like you.
Well, then Henry it shall be.
Once upon a time, there was
a little boy named Henry.
And this boy was afraid
of just about everything,
except for ladybugs.
And one day while he was out,
a ladybug caught his eye
and he decided to chase it.
And he chased this ladybug
for so long
that he actually turned
into a grown man
chasing the same ladybug.
And the ladybug led him
to a little tiny house.
And in the house,
he found the kindest woman
and her beautiful little girl
living there.
And the man told the woman
that he apologized for coming
in the house this way,
but he was following
this ladybug,
and that he looked everywhere
all over the place.
He couldn't find it no more.
He promised her that he'd leave.
But the woman said,
"Don't leave. Stay."
She said,
"Stay here with us."
She said, "We don't have much,
but everything we got
we'll share with you."
And did he stay?
He did.
You know why?
Because for the first time,
he felt safe.
For the first time,
he wasn't afraid.
He felt happy-
And he promised
that if he ever saw
that ladybug again,
that he was going to thank her.
Did he?
Not yet.
He still hasn't stopped looking.
Maybe she's in the sky.
Well, you just might be right.
You just might be right.
You should be in bed.
"The blue level
of the Mediterranean
"hugged to its calm breast
the victims of all the wars.
"Calamity is in the tempest
of its history.
"The breath of the evening
breeze came to cool
"with the mulberry tree,
"which sighed faintly,
"as if regretting
the passing of this man.
"This man of dark deeds
but of large heart,
"who often at noonday
would lie down
to sleep
under its shade."
Can I get you something to eat?
You want some water?
Okay, well, I'll give you
your privacy.
I don't want my privacy.
Mr. Church, I fell asleep
in this armchair.
Mr. Church?
Mr. Church?
Mr. Church...
act strange around death-
There are those
who talk about everything
but the person who died.
Those who talk about
only the person who died.
Those who try to cheer you up.
And those who can't help
but make you cry.
And then there are those
who say nothing at all.
Because they don't have to.
Yeah, of course.
Thank you so...
Thank you so much.
Excuse me one second.
Excuse me.
Hi, can I help you?
Sorry, ma'am.
Is this Mr. Church's wake?
I was a friend.
Name's Frankie Twiggs.
Folks call me Jelly.
I'm sorry for, you know,
barging in,
but we hadn't seen Hands
for quite some time,
and we done missed him,
and I just...
Yeah, that's what we called him
on account of...
He played piano at my bar
for over 30 years.
So, he worked for you.
Oh, no, no.
Nothing like that.
It was more for him, you know?
One night, he just wandered
over to the piano,
and then, barn,
he started playing.
Place lit up.
I'm telling you,
this cat was good.
I thought somebody famous
had just walked in
to get a drink, you know?
He was a whole lot of magic.
I'm Charlie.
Pleasure to make
your acquaintance, Charlie.
Um... Izzy?
Come here, baby.
I want you to meet
a good friend of Mr. Church's.
Here, this is
Mr. Church's recipe.
I didn't know he could cook.
This is Izzy.
Can you say hi, baby?
This is Mr. Jelly.
Mr. Church once said
a book is meant to be read
from beginning to end,
but is best understood
from end to beginning.
I suppose everything
does happen for a reason.
Mama dying.
Larson saving my baby
and himself.
Poppy finding a dollhouse
of her own.
Even Owen,
the most beautiful
10-year-old boy
on this or any other plane!
Becoming a doctor.
"Dear Charlotte.
"You've said you just want
to know me.
"My dear, you always have.
"I'm simply a man.
"Not without faults.
"That can happen
when you're not the son
"your father hoped you'd be,
"despite his verbal abuse
and beatings.
"I know you think
I took care of you
"and your mother and Izzy
"and you gave me nothing
in return.
"You gave me
the most important thing
"life can offer.
"You gave me a family.
"And love.
Mr. Church?
I'm making eggs and grits, Mama.
Like Mr. Church showed us.
Oh, this looks so yummy.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Can you set the table for us?
I can get plates.
Okay, this will be for me.
This will be for you.
What do you need?
You're adding a little salt.
What about cheese?
You need cheese?
Yeah? Here you go.
More cheese?
Iwas wrong when I said
the legacy of the Brooks family
is having babies out of wedlock.
The legacy of this family
is Mr. Church.
Henry Joseph Church
could have been anything
he wanted to be.
He chose to cook.
The key, he said, jazz.